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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 25, 1989
- Vol. 32
- No. 26
What makes Barkin so persuasive is the shimmering interplay between an impassioned intelligence and that mysterious film noir face. We're dealing here with an actress, not a sex kitten. "Acting," Barkin says, "is a matter of giving away secrets....You let [the audience] crawl inside you for a little while." Inside Barkin's psyche, audiences sense a street-smart kid from the Bronx who clawed her way up. Brutally informed by teachers that "I wasn't pretty enough" to be an actress, she hung on to her dream for a decade before getting her first role in a feature film. Five years later The Big Easy (1987) made her a star, but stardom hasn't softened her hard New York edges. Nor has a year of marriage to Irish actor Gabriel Byrne and two months of motherhood—in October she had an 8-lb. baby boy. Hollywood scripts, she says, are "big crap or lesser crap. Greatness I don't hope for." She refuses to perform with "actors that I don't respect." On set she fights like a guttersnipe for her creative vision. "I scream all the time at somebody," she admits, "myself included." Most directors say the gain is well worth the pain.
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